Sunday, July 27, 2008

Another Wonderful Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday, and probably the nicest to date. I've had some pretty nice birthdays (a few years ago, Michael Buble kissed me for my birthday at his concert and last year Stephen threw me a surprise b-day party on the tube trip) but this year was extra special. Not only did I have a birthday party last weekend, but this year, Stephen planned it. All.By.Himself.

We packed up the car yesterday and headed to the Se
a Dog brewery in Maine. For those of you who don't know, Sea Dog makes my favorite beer, the Bluepaw Wheat Ale, a delectable beer made with blueberries. We headed to Sea Dog, had some beers, then headed to Popham Beach. After sunning ourselves for a few hours, we headed back to Sea Dogs for more brew and a lobster dinner.

Here are some photos of my special day, including the beautiful bouquet of flowers my sweet friend Molly brought to the party last week.The flowers from Molly

Fudgie The Whale - many thanks to Sherlock!
Yummy - Blueberry beer in my new Sea Dogs mug.

Isn't this the cutest logo?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Vengeance is Sweet!

It's no secret I hate Massachusetts drivers. The not-so-awesome moniker of "Masshole" isn't something to be proud of, and it does describe quite perfectly what it's like driving on the roads up here.

Growing up in Texas, I've used my horn maybe 5 times the entire time I've been driving. Since I've moved up here, I use my horn no less than once a week, and it's usually because someone either decided to run a stop sign or thought the lane was big enough for both of us to share. It's frustrating and my mouth has never had so many expletives come out of it, but it's part of life, and I'm trying not to let driving here ruin every day; it's a work in progress though.

So imagine my delight this afternoon when I was sitting in traffic in the far right lane at the 28/38/16 intersection (Wellington Station) and two cars decided that they didn't have to wait; they figured that since they were turning right at the light they could just get in the emergency lane next to us and bypass all the traffic. EXCEPT....

there was a State Trooper, and he stood RIGHT IN FRONT of the first car and told them to turn into the parking lot. They were BUSTED!!!! The second car, a gold Honda Civic, must have had a deer in headlights look, because the State Trooper pointed at the driver again and motioned to go to the lot.

Luckily I was able to see this go down while sitting in traffic. I'm sure it didn't teach anyone around a lesson, probably not even those two who just got ticketed, but it definitely made my day.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Better Late Than Never

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my dear friend Kaileen! A midwestern girl with great personality, she and I instantly became friends at work, and 5 months later we haven't looked back! She's been a staple at our house from the beginning, tearing down wall paper with us, and making the long trek to our house every other week or so to make sure I'm not sitting alone at Magoun's.

So, again, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You deserve nothing but the best! We love you!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookie?

Well, friends, the dining room is complete! I finished painting it last night - just in time for tomorrow's party. I showed the pictures to a friend who said she immediately thought it looked like a chocolate chip cookie and made her hungry. WHAT?!?! That's SO not what I had in mind. I wanted something to exist peacefully with the celery green in the living room! The top color is actually called "Chai Latte" and the bottom half is "English Saddle."

What do you think? Chocolate chip cookie? Or maybe something else?The "before" picture- love the wall paper!
In process
Max helping outThe "after" shot - chocolate chip cookie?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Crisp Celery

Crisp Celery... that's the name of the new wall color in our living room. That's right, one room down, and just one more to go before the big party on Saturday.

The color is exciting and soothing all at once. It's probably exciting because we finally have something up on the walls, but it is a soothing color. The yet-to-own couch is going to look awesome in the living room, and once we add window treatments it will finally start to feel like our home.

So kudos to Stephen and me for actually making progress - and for having fun along the way.

before photo - note the awesome wall paper

I'll probably get in trouble for this
the finished product - LOVE it!

Monday, July 14, 2008

It's Almost Done

The house I've been whining about for 2 months now is getting closer to being finished. We put primer up on our walls last night (well, the dining room and living room)and will start painting tonight. Fingers crossed that everything will be ready in time for the Housewarming/Kaileen b-day/Michele b-day party this Saturday.

It must! I hear that Fudgie the Whale is making an appearance that night!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Spy Game

I'm an avid people watcher. I love jumping in on other people's lives and watching them engage in something, or someone. There is so much to learn or laugh at just by watching someone else.

If you haven't done it yet, I highly suggest it. You'll learn so much about the people around you if you just stop and watch.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hard Lesson Learned

It has been a crazy week, which resulted in a long week. I won't bore you with ALL the details, but I mentioned in my last post that I was steaming mad. Our new tenants that just moved in on the first of this month, and whom Stephen and I have already bent over backwards for, decided to take advantage of their situation and threatened to withhold rent for reasons out of our control. The complaints were unfounded, and certainly not within their right (either morally or legally) to withhold rent. However, after a lot of back and forth, I believe we may have some resolved the situation.

Now, I'm not complaining about them or the situation they found themselves in. They had a right to be frustrated about things not working and to let their landlord know about it. Heck, if I were in their situation, I may have been just as frustrated! Where I'm upset is how poorly they handled the situation. Instead of coming to us respectfully and saying they were frustrated, they chose to handle their frustration by threatening to withhold rent. Rather than walking upstairs and letting us know, they opted to write it in a strongly-worded e-mail. And rather than give us consideration for what we've done for them - which is FAR MORE than what many landlords would do - they opted to use that as an excuse to DEMAND more things.

I guess this is a lesson learned for us as landlords, and an even harder lesson learned as human beings. But I have to ask:
-When did people stop being GRATEFUL for what they're getting (or have) and instead choose to focus only on what they're not getting?
-When did DECENCY and RESPECT go by the wayside?
-When did people stop looking out for each other and decided to look no further than themselves?

I guess it's been this way for a while now, but I don't want to give up just yet. I want to believe that people are still capable of good, that they're not always in it for themselves. I want to believe that people can be grateful for what they have, even if sometimes they wish had more. I want to believe that despite how LUCKY we've been and how HARD we've worked to own a house at a young age, that it doesn't mean we don't deserve to have respect from others our age who haven't been so lucky.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Visual Inspiration

I haven't had anything really awesome to say lately. It's not that my life is free from drama - on the contrary, but that's for another blog post when my blood isn't boiling and I can write something more than just an expletive - but rather I'm just not feeling inspired by anything. And don't worry, my one or two readers, I'm well aware that my blog posts are suffering. But with the lack of words on paper comes a different kind of inspiration. Rather than coming up with something witty, lately I've been taking some kick-ass pictures (at least I think they are!) Maybe it's Boston, or maybe I'm developing an eye for things, but check out these recent photos I took.

I took both these photos of the Boston sunset on Friday at the 4th of July celebration at the Charles River.

This is the burial ground in Boston Common. I love the way the light comes through the trees and the old, crumbly headstones. There is something so serene about this site.

My hope is that sometime soon I'll have something worth mentioning on here. In the meantime, I hope this trend of photo taking continues.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Classics

Shout out to Martha for posting something so relevant and important. I'm going to make it a mission to read every single one of these "classics" as well as others that aren't on this list. I've included some of my top literary classics below that weren't on this list (which really makes me scratch my head.)
  • "Dante's Inferno" Dante Alighieri- Read this in h.s. and STILL one of the most memorable books I've ever read.
  • "The Odyssey" Homer
  • "The Scarlett Letter" Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • "Frankenstein" Mary Shelley

The Big Read, an initiative by the National Endowment for the Arts, has estimated that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed. How do you do?

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell (as with most books, 1000 times better than the movie)
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy (one of my all time faves – it’s such a seedy read!)
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (how did this make it into the top 50?)
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (I REALLY tried to get through this… and couldn’t. It was that terrible for me.)
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray – (another of my all-time faves!)
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo